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[Help/Advice Needed] Contact Form Spam

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Stormwolfe Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:05 am

[Help/Advice Needed] Contact Form Spam

Good Day,

Once again, one of my sites is being spam assaulted via the Contact Form. I have actually deleted the form entirely and changed the site's email address to no avail. I am going to delete the site's email address and change it.

We have also banned the spammer's IP address and both email addresses used. It has not helped at all.

Unfortunately, we are still receiving the emails. It is my belief that the spammer has captured the actual URL of the contact form and is continuing their attack using that.

I know there is a mod on Xtras that allows you to add an anti-spam captcha to the contact form, but it is rather complicated for someone like me to install (i.e. someone with next to zero idea on anything to do with how the code works). I am going to try to get it onto my test site but not sure it will stop this attack by installing it "after the fact".

Since yesterday, we have probably received close to a 100 of these spam messages.

A copy of the email is below...

Code: Select all
criminal records database galveston county texas free
From: prev -

You can federal inmate lookup system and norfolk virginia public criminal records. All in all, public arrest records va free, how to get a background check free or st johns county florida public records. Not only background investigation form federal , but west virginia criminal offender search as well.

Recipient Information: prev (,

Can anyone advise me of what else I can do to stop this spam assault?

Thank you for any advice and/or suggestions! Am desperate!
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Posts: 467

AgentPhoenix Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:34 pm

Re: [Help/Advice Needed] Contact Form Spam

It's not an ideal solution, but if you aren't using the contact form, you can override the controller method and just die with a simple message so a bot can't hit the page. Just update the application/controllers/main.php file and add the following method to the class:

Code: Select all
public function contact()
    die('Due to ongoing spam issues, the contact form is no longer available.');
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Posts: 7596

Emily Thu May 04, 2017 9:17 pm

Re: [Help/Advice Needed] Contact Form Spam

You could also try using the Contacts Page ReCaptcha 2 mod on the Xtras page. I have not personally used it on one of my own websites but I have seen it in action on others.

Anodyne Productions :: DiscordHelp CenterXtras

Discord: @Emily#6153
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Stormwolfe Thu May 04, 2017 9:57 pm

Re: [Help/Advice Needed] Contact Form Spam


I have looked at it and might yet try to get it to working on my test site. However, either I'm too low tech or am just missing something... The couple of times I've tried to install it, I've killed my site.

Thank you so very much for responding.
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Posts: 467

johnback84 Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:08 pm

Re: [Help/Advice Needed] Contact Form Spam

sorry for posting this here but it is the most relevant topic,

I have tried the Contacts Page ReCaptcha 2, made sure to get the latest version checked the instructions verse the ones on file in the download and triple checked the code changes against both versions of instructions "web based and on file" I tried this on a fresh install of the ds9 version of the nova 2 and as soon as I apply the files of the mod to the "fresh install" when I try and visit the base home page I get nothing but a white screen, no errors or anything not even on error file in the directory shows up, and I must admit it has been a long time since I used nove and I know I am well out of practise for fault finding, I just dont know where to look or what to check to try and find the fault with the Captcha 2 mod, I installed a fresh copy and only had 1 yellow warning which is for the php open socket or something which I know is fixed by a php.ini file that I hadn't put there at the time since well I forgot as the only nova that's on my site is used by my friend as a fav for him. I did the install fine with the yellow warning, did the changes and followed the instructions in the mod file and got the blank white page, I wiped the database and reinstalled and remembered the php.ini and passed on all green install and tried the changes again this time following the ones on the mod download file with the other files and made the changes as instructed again white background with nothing there and no error's that I can see.

My friend is being hit by spam emails of varying kinds coming from the contact page I am not 100% sure on the details of the context of the emails aside from that's where they are coming from.

any help in this matter would be great.

(sorry for erm high-jacking the post please feel free to separate it if you feel the need I did try and look for something that matched what I was looking to post about)

Thanks for any help in advance from a very old member (looks at info really I've been here sine 2012)

Posts: 18

AgentPhoenix Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:46 am

Re: [Help/Advice Needed] Contact Form Spam

You may have to look at the logs in application/logs to see what's going on. Or the server logs. PHP is probably set up to not display errors in production, so you'll only see them in the error logs.
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TheDrew Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:11 am

Re: [Help/Advice Needed] Contact Form Spam

He's not the only one the ReCaptcha mod is broken for. I started with a clean 2.5.1 install, followed Azmaria's instructions to the letter, and it still gives a blank screen.

Only way to make the system work is to restore the backed up main.php.

Posts: 29

TheDrew Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:11 pm

Re: [Help/Advice Needed] Contact Form Spam

Found the underlying issue and a potential fix.

The validation function on the main.php has a PHP7 specific operand call so if someone is still running PHP5 (two of my sites. Yes, planned to be upgraded soon.) the system chokes and blank screens. Replacing the operand call with a slightly longer PHP5 compatible statement corrects the error.

And yes I know PHP5 is EOL & depricated but there's bound to be somebody like me still on PHP5 because they've not had the time to upgrade yet. :)

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